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Sauteed Greens with Chili and Garlic

Sauteed Greens with Chile and Garlic
Julie O'Hara for NPR /

Wherever we went in Thailand and Singapore, some version of spicy sauteed greens was available. Typically made with water spinach or Chinese broccoli, this recipe is delicious with any tender, leafy greens with a mild to slightly bitter flavor. Seek out unfamiliar greens like Chinese flowering cabbage (or gai lan) in Asian markets. Spinach and Swiss chard are delicious, too.

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

3 to 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)

1 pound tender leafy greens such as Chinese flowering cabbage, spinach or Swiss chard, thick stems removed, large leaves roughly chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons fish sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 small, hot red chilies such as Thai or Fresno, thinly sliced and seeded if desired

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add a few handfuls of the greens, allow them to wilt slightly, then add more greens in the same manner. Toss well to coat with oil.

Add the soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar; toss to combine.

Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until the water released by the greens mostly evaporates, about 5 minutes. The greens are done when a little liquid still clings to the leaves and the stems are tender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, sprinkle with chilies and serve.

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